From starting high school, moving to a new town and having my parents live over 1,200 miles apart, 2008 was a year of many changes for me.
As a child, I grew up in Tucson, Arizona with my older sister, older brother, my mom and dad. My parents were always very hardworking, supportive and loving as I grew up. Always attending my volleyball and basketball games as well as track meets, bringing me to tennis, horseback riding, or piano lessons. My dad would make my lunch in the morning and then drop my sister and I off at carpool, while my mom would pick us up after school and bring us home. We ate dinner as a family every night and weekends were often spent doing some sort of family activity whether it was going to the pool or helping my dad plant flowers at a property he managed. We had a lot of family time and I enjoyed it.
As I graduated from 8th grade my family moved to Big Timber, Montana for my sister and I to attend high school. The town is very rural and has roughly 1,500 hundred people living there, with 200 people in the high school. My mom had quit her job and committed to being a full-time stay at home parent while my dad commuted from Tucson. At the time my dad had been traveling a lot with his side job of managing a catering crew that cooked for the Avon Walks for Breast Cancer and Susan G. Komen 3 day walks.
Entering my freshman year was hard, I often got a lot of questions such as “how do you have nice things since you don’t have a dad” or “well your parents must be divorced since they don’t live in the same state”. Questions like this were a frequent occurrence since my dad was only able to visit around once a month. He was so busy working at his property management and landscaping business as well as traveling cross country catering that visits were generally for a short amount of time. I went from having my dad play such a crucial role in my life to talking to him often twice a day on the phone.
Having parents that are married and live 1,200 miles apart is not ideal, but we made it work. My parents did what they had to do for my sister and I to succeed and I believe our family grew stronger because of it. I will forever be grateful for the sacrifices that they have made and I know both of my parents have always been cheering me on whether they were right by my side or miles away.